At the end of first grade, I got two kittens for my birthday, which made me gloriously happy. They were brothers who came with the names Sugar and Spice; changing their names might have been something a creative loud-mouthed family like mine would do, but we couldn’t agree on anything else, as loud-mouth argumentative families are wont to do. The cats were black, short-haired fellows with yellow eyes whose mother had been found in a trash can in Tan-Tar-A or Sarasota (whichever resort town it was, she was named for it) and had been brought home by a family friend of my parents. Their mother rewarded her rescuers with a promptly produced litter of three. Their sister looked like a Siamese, like their mother, which meant that Sugar and Spice grew up to have long, snouty profiles and one had a loud voice. Spice suffered some sort of superficial wound to a front leg as a youngster and thereafter had a large white patch on his leg surrounding a bald, scarred, spot, did not live as long as Sugar, but he lived long enough to wear doll clothes and ride in carriages and generally do the duties of a small girl’s cat, as Sugar did.

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